The Devil's Highway

Available in hardcover, paperback,

for your e-reader, your Kindle,

and as an audiobook, read by Luis

Finalist, 2005 Pulizer Prize finalist in non-fiction

Winner Lannan Literary Award

In May 2001, a group of men attempted to cross the border into the desert of southern Arizona, through the deadliest region of the continent, a place called the Devil's Highway. Fathers and sons, brothers and strangers, entered a desert so harsh and desolate that even the Border Patrol is afraid to travel through it. Twelve came back out.

Now, Luis Alberto Urrea tells the story of this modern odyssey. He takes us back to the small towns and unpaved cities south of the border, where the poor fall prey to dreams of a better life and the sinister promises of smugglers. We meet the men who will decide to make the crossing along the Devil's Highway and, on the other side of the border, the men who are ready to prevent them from reaching their destination. Urrea reveals exactly what happened when the twenty-six headed into the wasteland, and how they were brutally betrayed by the one man they had trusted most. And from that betrayal came the inferno, a descent into a world of cactus spines, labyrinths of sand, mountains shaped like the teeth of a shark, and a screaming sun so intense that even at midnight the temperature only drops to 97 degrees. And yet, the men would not give up. The Devil's Highway is a story of astonishing courage and strength, of an epic battle against circumstance. These twenty-six men would look the Devil in the eyes - and some of them would not blink.


From Luis

About The Devil's Highway

My heavy metal album.

I like it that the gorgeous cover looks like a Pink Floyd record.

Almost won the Pulitzer.

It weighs heavy on my heart.

Almost impossible to discuss it anymore.

The ghosts of the forgotten enter the room sometimes.

The book has made me many friends—some enemies.

Border Patrol agents sometimes give me gifts.

We all want a fair shake.

We all need a witness.

WWJD: Who Would Jesus Deport?

Book club members have been some of my most enthusiastic and careful readers. I’m thrilled to share my work with you, answer your questions and tell you some of the stories behind the stories. This is our spot, just for us. Here, we can chat:  If I’m nearby, I’ll come and visit your club. Otherwise, we can Skype, talk over the phone or email. Sometimes, I’ll send surprises or hold contests.

Tell us all about your book club!
Type the characters you see in this picture. (verify using audio)
Type the characters you see in the picture above; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.

upcoming events

Book Lovers Lunch
Book Lovers Lunch May 9th 11 a.m. Exmoor Country Club, Highland Park IL

A benefit for Bernie's Book Bank in Chicago. Please support this amazing group that puts books into children's hands. Details here.

Exmoor Country Club, Highland Park IL
May 9th
11 a.m.
Fishtrap Writing Conference
Fishtrap Writing Conference Jul 7th to Jul 13th Wallowa Lake, OR

This year, the conference celebrates William Stafford and I'm honored to be on a faculty that includes Naomi Shihab Nye, Kim Stafford, John Daniels and Gary Ferguson. Details here.

Wallowa Lake, OR
Jul 7th to Jul 13th
Sitka Symposium
Sitka Symposium Jul 20th to Jul 26th Sitka, AK

Sponsored by the Island Institute, deeply honored to be part of this prestigious symposium. Radical Imagining: Changing the Story with Stories of Change with Alan Weisman, Winona LaDuke, Molly Sturges and others. Details here.

Sitka, AK
Jul 20th to Jul 26th
Bread Loaf Writers Conference
Bread Loaf Writers Conference Aug 13th to Aug 23rd Middlebury, VT

Teaching workshop, speaking. Details here.

Middlebury, VT
Aug 13th to Aug 23rd
Cornell University
Cornell University Sep 25th Ithaca, NY

Lecture, classroom visits. Details to come.

Ithaca, NY
Sep 25th